Tuesday, February 21, 2012


It seemed like half of Los Angeles was in the El Pasos (northern Mojave, Red Rock State Park & BLM land) last weekend, friggin' EP15 looked like the Ventura Freeway at rush hour, between all the sand rails, ATV's, motorcycles, minivans, Subarus, and Toyota Corollas. None of whom had the slightest clue, I had to tell at least four different people how to get out of there or they'd probably still be out there, turning into dessicated mummies. The second-worst thing that happened was when my line of Jeeps and 4x4's -- a round dozen or so of us caravaning through the park with maps and complete rescue and first aid gear - were sitting in Last Chance Canyon in the sand wash in front of the narrows with its rock garden, waiting for a medical emergency that had priority to go around us, and a Subaru came puttering along. "Is this the way out of the park?" "Uhm, no. Around that corner is a rock garden, and last time I went through it I got body damage in my *Jeep*. Your Subaru has no hope, go back to EP15 and take a left." "Darn." And he turned around and went back out the way he came in. I hope.

Average don't seem to be too smart nowadays, and 50% of all people are below average. And every single one of them appeared to be in the desert last weekend, surviving only via dumb luck and the ministrations of folks who took pity on them and sent them the right way despite our annoyance at all the unprepared idiots who were out there endangering themselves and others.

-- Badtux the Misanthrope Penguin


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  2. Last year, waiting to enter Golden Canyon in Death Valley with a group of well-prepared 6th graders, we were astounded to see a family of 4 head for the trail head wearing sandals, and carrying NOTHING, not water, not a jacket, nada. Even the kids were a bit taken back. Mom, Dad, 6 and 4-year-olds (I asked).
    Dad said that they wouldn't need anything, they'd be out in 2 hours or so. I asked him to wait, them went and called the local ranger, who forbid them from trying it unti they were at least a little prepared.
    I could tell you stories of unprepared hikers in the Adirondacks in WINTER, temp hovering around -10 during the day, dropping to -25 or -30 at night, and people with 3-season sleeping bags, and no burnable material. Wearing blue jeans. Can't fix stupid, right?

  3. I would say that these were Darwin Awards candidates, but unfortunately people like us are going to continue saving their lives because we're nice people. Sorta like the reason why we were sitting by the side of a wash waiting for a medical emergency to go by -- an idiot on a quad had crashed and managed to break his arm and collarbone. So we had a nurse and paramedic along with us and they splinted him up and evacuated him out of there to meet emergency services at the canyon mouth. Shoulda just left the unprepared dumbass for the coyotes, sigh...


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